I start with a piece of iron pipe the diameter I want the crucible to be. I found this piece with several others discarded at an industrial renovation site. There's also a steel plate from which disks used for the base are cut from. If you look closely you may be able to tell that the plate is actually welded together from three smaller plates.
Manufacturers of knives and axes used for hunting, fishing, cooking and outdoor life. Crafted, sharpened and perfected by hand in Finland, using blacksmith techniques acquired over 40 years - resulting in uncompromised products, made to last a lifetime.
CASE HARDENING, is the process of producing a hard surface on wrought iron and steel parts by increasing the carbon in the surface by absorption, then hardening by the usual method (heat and quench). Finished low carbon steel parts are packed in a ceramic, graphite or steel box with powdered charcoal. Bone charcoal is supposedly the best.
b) assuming it is wootz and the chemistry is ok, there may be voids or crusty bits or porosity inside. the difficult thing with wootz is that the resulting pattern depend not just on the steel ingot you start with, but also on the progression of forging cycles at given temperatures, thermal cycling, heat treatment and finally polishing and etching.